Bored? Not anymore!

This is week 3 of working from home, for me, and week 4 of self-isolation. At first, so much extra time was filled the exciting possibilities that all my unread books presented, their time of languishing on my shelves finally coming to an end. But, as it turns out, there is only so much reading one can do over a period of several weeks, and one starts to get a bit stir-crazy, even knowing that adventures and new friends await in each new book.

If you’re in a rut, and starting to drift away from your books, take heart! There are still some things we can do that are not technically reading, but are still very much book-centric, and thus, almost as good. If you will allow me just a few minutes, I would like to walk you through the very easy process of making something fun: bookmarks! Make them funny, or scary, or beautiful – it’s all up to you.

  1. All you need is: a cutting mat and an X-Acto knife (or not even those, if you prefer to use scissors), a ruler, a pencil, glue stick, and some paper that you love. I used chiyogami paper, and some flyers that had graphics I was drawn to, but any paper will do – even wrapping paper works – whatever you have that makes you smile, and can be cut to about 2″ x 6″.
1. All you need to get started: scissors or a knife & cutting mat, pencil, ruler, glue stick, and your choice of paper.

After you make the bookmarks, you will need a means of laminating them, at an office supply store (once they open again), or you can use a home laminator, if you have one. If you don’t have a means of laminating, that’s okay! Once the glue has dried, they are ready to use until you can get them into that protective coating.

  1. Once you have the paper ready, measure a rectangle on the back it, over the part you want to be featured on your bookmark. It should measure two inches wide (we will fold this in half, so your bookmark will be one inch wide), and as long as you would like, usually between 6 and 8 inches.
2. Measure two inches across, and 6-8 inches long, being very careful that your lines are straight. Using the grid from a cutting mat will help you, if you have one.
  1. Next, cut along the rectangle you drew. Using a ruler will help you make sure the lines are perfectly straight.
Use a knife on a mat for quick, perfect edges. You can use scissors, but be careful to keep the lines straight.
  1. Once you have your rectangle, fold it in half lengthwise, creasing it very hard to give it a sharp fold. If your bottom and top edges do not match up exactly, just trim them up against the ruler.
Trim edges after the rectangle is folded, to make sure the sides match exactly.
  1. Once you have the paper folded, it’s time for the glue. Cover one half of the paper in a layer of glue, being sure to go beyond the edge of your paper. This ensures the glue will go right up to the edge of all three open sides, and prevent any lifting. Don’t press it together yet! Let the glue dry slightly, and then apply it again. After the second coat, firmly press the sides together, taking care to smooth any air bubbles out.
Apply two layers of glue, being sure to apply the glue beyond all the edges of the paper, to ensure full adhesion.
Ta-daa! Now all you need to do is laminate.

I hope this little project helps to settle some of your restlessness, and brightens your day at the same time. If you do end up making some bookmarks, please let me know in the comments! Good luck, and STAY HEALTHY 💜

Books reborn

Hello, friends. A post on book art is long overdue, wouldn’t you say? Like you, I love to read, and I love books, so perhaps that is why art made from books moves me so.

In researching book art creators, I recently discovered some new names. First, let me introduce Thomas Wightman. If you are familiar with Malena Valcarcel‘s work, you should check out this artist’s work as well; you will be glad you did. Here is one of my favorites, but there are many others that are just as impressive on Mr. Wightman’s website. What I find so interesting about this site, is that the artist walks us through the creative process, and shows us (more or less) how each piece was made. Enjoy!

Drowning from Obsession – Thomas Wightman

Jodi Harvey is another book artist whose site is fun to stroll through. When I look at these sculptures, I am absolutely amazed at the patience the artists exhibit with each creation. Having done a tiny bit of book art myself, I know I truly do not have what it takes to produce something like this. Here is a collection of images from her home page, to give you a taste:

Jodi Harvey

Quite some time ago, I mentioned Brian Dettmer in a similar post about book art, and Kelly Campbell Berry‘s work falls into a similar category. They both work with illustrated texts, cutting away most of the words and letting the pictures tell their own version of the story.

Kelly Campbell Berry

I mean, really. How do they do it?! I remain in awe of this amazing skill and talent. I don’t own any real book art yet, but I look forward to that day when I acquire my first piece. I know it will be worth the wait!